Cristiano Ronaldo has hailed former Celtic winger Jota insisting that "top players" are now beginning to arrive in Saudi Arabia to play their football.

Jota made a permanent switch to Al-Ittihad following two years in Glasgow, having spent one season on loan from Benfica before signing a permanent contract.

Jota helped Celtic to two league titles during his time with the club, scoring 27 goals over a two-year spell in all competitions.

He followed a number of high-profile players in joining the Saudi Pro League and became Al-Ittihad’s third signing of the summer after former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and ex-Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante signed for the club.

Reacting to the transfer and the talent arriving in Saudi, Ronaldo said: "The Saudi league is better than MLS. Now all the players are coming here. In one year, more top players will come to Saudi Arabia.

"I opened the way to the Saudi league, and now all the players are coming here. I’m 100 per cent sure I won’t return to any European club. I’m 38 years old.

“European football has lost a lot of quality. The only valid one and still doing good is the (English) Premier League. They’re way ahead of all the other leagues. My decision to join Saudi clubs was 100% crucial to bring in new top players. It’s a fact.

“When I joined Juventus, Serie A was dead and then after I signed… it was revived. Wherever Cristiano goes he generates higher interest. They criticised me for coming to Saudi League, but what happened now? In a year Saudi league will overtake the Turkish league and Dutch league. Players who arrived aren’t like what the president of the European Union said. Jota and Ruben Neves are young players."

Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr have been banned from registering new players due to “outstanding debts”, FIFA has said.

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid star Ronaldo moved to the Middle East in January, with a host of star names having followed since as the kingdom seeks to build the Saudi Pro League into one of the world’s best.

However, FIFA has now imposed a ban on the club’s transfer activity.

A spokesperson for the global governing body said: “The club Al Nassr is currently prevented from registering new players due to outstanding debts.

“The relevant bans will be lifted immediately upon the settlement of the debts being confirmed by the creditors concerned.”